19 June 2017

How to Best Care for Children’s Eyes

If you have been around here awhile, you probably know all about my children.  I have two of them-- a boy and a girl.  They are the best of friends, and I love them dearly.

I am lucky enough to be able to schedule each of them a well-check appointment with their pediatrician once per year.  We go through the motions, and everything tends to be a-okay.

It wasn’t until a year ago when I went to the ophthalmologist for my appointment and was told that I had really bad vision.  It brought upon much consideration for my children’s future eyesight.  Now, at our regularly scheduled pediatrician checkups, I ensure that the doctor is aware of my eye problems, so she knows what to gauge for in my children.  If anything is askew, she can refer them to an ophthalmologist for more precise care.


An article from Canadian Medical Care outlines an interview that was conducted with two specialist doctors about how to best care for children’s eyes.  It is a really interesting read, and covers a plethora of questions …

+ Is eye care a part of preventive examinations at the pediatrician?

...During an examination, a pediatrician will always assess the overall look and movement of the eyes and depending on the age, also distance visual acuity as well as color vision. However, it does not mean that if a child can read 100% of the items displayed on the optotypes that they have no refraction defect….

+ When should parents arrive with their child for an eye examination and what problems should these include?

...Parents should always book a visit for an eye examination at any moment when they feel that their child’s vision has worsened, when they notice cross eyes, squinting or when the children tilt their head. Often, the causes for a visit include redness and purulent eye secretions of children and infants….

+ What are the most common eye defects and diseases found in children?

...With infants and babies, we most commonly encounter chronic conjunctivitis connected with purulent secretion from one or both eyes at once. This problem is caused by a narrowing of the lacrimal ducts and its flawed development dating back from the prenatal age. Until the age of six months, infants can have their lacrimal ducts probed and flushed. This is then followed by local application of antibiotic drops which prevents further infection and any possible scarring….

+ What threatens children’s eyes the most?

...A major problem is posed by eye injuries. With smaller children who do not yet have good communication abilities, we need to rely on examinations which are often only possible under general anesthesia...

+ Modern day children spend considerable amounts of time in front of screens (TVs, notebook, mobiles …). What impact does that have on their vision? Does it cause any specific complications?

...Research from the last couple of years appears to indicate that long-term close-up work under artificial lighting can induce shortsightedness (myopia).  It has been proven that longer-term stays outside under natural light (at least two hours) can lower the risk of shortsightedness developing in children….

+ What does a child’s eye examination entail?

...For small children, it is especially important to establish a good relationship between the patient and the doctor. The child has to trust the doctor completely. After such contact is established, whether through play or communication alone, the visual acuity is tested depending on the child’s age - always starting from the right eye to the left one…

Be sure to check out the entire article for a full outlook on how to best care for your children’s eyes.  You can check it out here:  How to Best Care for Children’s Eyes.

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